Harry Connick Jr.

  • Singer and composer, born Joseph Harry Fowler Connick Jr in 1967, from New Orleans Louisiana.
  • He started playing the piano at 3 years old and his first public performance was at 5. He performed a Beethoven piano concerto with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra at 9, and recorded 2 albums of traditional jazz standards with a jazz band at ages 10 and 11. After high school, he moved to New York City to study music, where a record executive discovered him and signed him to a contract.
  • His first album, the self titled Harry Connick Jr., was released in 1987. It was an instrumental jazz album with Connick on piano and Ron Carter on standup bass (Carter is the most recorded jazz bassist in history, with more than 2,000 recording sessions). His next album, 20, was released the following year. It was titled 20 because he was 20 years old. Six of the 11 tracks featured Connick’s vocals in addition to his jazz piano. It was his first to chart, reaching #133 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and #6 on the jazz charts. Also, it was the first of 9 albums to be certified platinum in sales.
  • In 1989, he provided the soundtrack to the film When Harry Met Sally….He sang and performed on all of the songs – the film’s director Rob Reiner liked him, thinking he sounded like a young Frank Sinatra. It sold over 2 million copies in the U.S., and won a Grammy for Best Jazz Male Vocal Performance. It also was his first of 13 #1 albums on the jazz album chart
  • Connick was very busy in 1990 – he made his acting debut in the film Memphis Belle, and he released 2 albums – an instrumental jazz album called Lofty’s Roach Souffle and a big band album of original songs called We Are In Love. He also started a 2 year concert tour. Lofty’s hit #4 on the jazz charts, while We Are In Love topped the chart and earned him his second Grammy award.
  • In 1991, he contributed the song Promise Me You’ll Remember to the soundtrack for the film Godfather III. It was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe award. He also was nominated for an Emmy award for his performance in the PBS special Swingin’ Out Live. That same year, he starred in his second film, Little Man Tate, and he released his next big band album, Blue Light, Red Light, which was nominated for 2 Grammy awards, and was his third consecutive multi-platinum album. The next year, he released an album of jazz and pop standards, called 25 (recorded when he was 25 years old) – Another #1 on the jazz charts, and #19 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
  • His first of 3 Christmas albums was released in 1993. When My Heart Finds Christmas became his best selling Christmas album, and is among the 20 highest selling Christmas albums of all time.
  • Connick Jr changed his style in the mid-90s, with 2 albums – She and Star Turtle – that were New Orleans funk albums. Not all of his fans were happy to hear him sing funk music, and he returned to jazz and pop with 1997’s To See You, an album of love songs backed by a symphony orchestra. He finished the 90s with a big band album, Come By Me. He also continued to perform in films – he was in 6 films from 1995 through 1999, including Independence Day, the most successful film on 1996.
  • In the 00s, Connick released 3 instrumental jazz/big band albums and 7 studio albums featuring a variety of music from the 1920s to comtemporary songs. The album Songs I Heard, covers of songs Connick Jr knew as a child, won a Grammy award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. The album Only You was his highest charting album on the Billboard 200, at #5, and of course it was #1 on the jazz chart. He also performed in 11 films during the 00s, wrote the Tony-nominated score to the Broadway musical Thou Shalt Not, and starred in the Broadway revival of the musical The Pajama Game. 
  • Since 2010, he has released 4 albums plus a live album, had 3 more film performances, and he has participated in 5 seasons of American Idol, with 3 seasons as a judge. His most recent album, That Would Be Me, was released in 2015. In 2016, his syndicated talk show debuted, titled Harry. It was renewed for a second season in 2017, but will end its run in 2018.
  • He has performed the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, Daytona 500, World Series and Kentucky Derby.
  • Harry Connick Jr has had a great run – I’ll put him in the top 3 of modern day crooners, along with Michael Bublé and Josh Groban. Here is Connick Jr performing It Had To Be You – you’ll see clips of When Harry Met Sally in this video, as the song was a prominent part of the film.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.